Updated: Jul 4, 2021
July 1 marks the beginning of the second half of 2021. It is hard to believe that we are already six months beyond that New Year’s Eve where we thought about all of the things that 2021 would bring. For those of us who are goal setters, it marks a great time to look again at the goals that we set
Today, I want to share with you a helpful method to take a look at your progress for the year. This technique falls under the Fourth Pillar of an Eight Pillar Professional- Intentional Liver. Once we have taken the first three steps (Developing our Legacy, Passionate Planning, and Composing Positive Soundtracks) we need to be intentional about following up and intentional about tracking where we stand on our goals.
I call this method of measuring progress the AAA Method. It is first Assessing where you are, honestly and realistically. Second, it is adjusting your goals as necessary, and last, Applauding your progress. I will break each of those down.
Assessing where you are is very simple and yet it is very challenging because we have become masters at lying to ourselves. For some people, it means thinking you’re further along on a goal than you actually are. For others, it is allowing negative self talk to prevent you from giving yourself enough credit for where you are already. The realistic assessment is easier to do if you have set SMART goals in the first place (Specific,Measurable,Attainable,Realistic and Time Oriented). For example, one of my goals was to have 200 workouts logged for 2021. At the midway point I should logically be at 100. However, I basically didn’t get started until about 90 days into the year, so a realistic assessment is that my procrastination affected my progress toward that goal. This is not an exercise in excuses or justification, simply a math equation- if I expect to get 200 done in the year and I only have 50 in, I need to move on to the next A- Adjustment.
Adjustment is important for your goals because you have little way of knowing what your life might look like when you are creating those goals. Adjustment can be several different things: 1. Adjusting a goal downward (Author Jon Acuff calls this “halving”)
2. Adjusting a goal upward- maybe you set a goal too small at the beginning of the year and you are crushing it. Knowing what you now know and with a quest to push yourself a little, there is nothing wrong with adjusting a goal upwards.
3. Eliminating a goal- sometimes a goal doesn’t match your current life- for example, you set a goal to run 200 miles but have been seeing a physician for shin splints since March and the doctor advises you to switch to a less jarring exercise for the next six months. It is perfectly acceptable to eliminate that goal and replace it with another that more closely matches your current abilities.
4. Adding a goal- sometimes mid year is the perfect time to add a goal that has been on your mind since the beginning of the year- perhaps some unexpected money came in and allows you to create a new financial goal for the second half of 2021.
The main thing with the second A is to not be afraid to adjust- Adjustment does NOT equal failure, which brings us to the last A- Applaud.
Applauding oneself is a often forgotten part of the process. In the third Pillar of the Eight Pillar Professional I talk about our Soundtracks- the self talk that occurs fairly nonstop in our minds. Negative self talk outweighs Positive self talk at almost a 9 to 1 ratio in most people. It is for this reason that liberally applying the third A- Applaud is so important. As you assess and adjust your goals, look for victories (of any size) and celebrate them. If someone with a goal of reading 100 books in 2021 just finished their 45th book, negative self talk would attack, doing the math that half way through the year they were not halfway to the number. A Positive Soundtrack would applaud the six month effort, appreciating the fact that just one extra book per month over the next six months will allow the person to reach their goal. The applaud process should also be accompanied by a reward of some type. Perhaps, in this case, an Audible subscription to assist with more book listening time in the car or a new Kindle to replace the 6 year old one that never seems to hold a charge long enough. Little victories deserve to be celebrated and it is proven that they provide additional motivation to help a person reach their goals.
Assess,Adjust,Applaud- the AAA method of being intentional about the goals you’ve set. As we reach the halfway point of 2021, I hope that all of your goals are on track, you are designing the life that you want to live and that you are surrounded with the best partners to help make those plans a reality. Cheers to a great second half!